This is a story of how we fought against plagiarism using the hashtag #OccupySiliconIndia
Yesterday was a super hectic day for us in the fight for justice against plagiarism. SiliconIndia, the magazine that covers stories related to Indian professionals, borrowed an entire article from us without giving us credit.
We emailed the CEO and marked a copy to the Content Head and one of the Content managers but did not receive any reply. After we published the plagiarism story on our blog in which we asked SiliconIndia to issue a public apology, we expected a reply as SiliconIndia is a veteran in the traditional media business. Alas, they did not!
#OccupySiliconIndia is conceived
Next we tried to spread it in our Twitter community. Soon an idea struck Vijay Paul, a fellow blogger and friend, who suggested we spread the story along with the hashtag #OccupySiliconIndia to protest against SiliconIndia who go by the Twitter handles (@SINewsUpdates & @SiliconIndia). It was about 3 pm in the afternoon.
We shared the plagiarism story on Twitter tagging each tweet with #OccupySiliconIndia. Fortunately for us, friends and well-wishers supported us right away by retweeting us as well as sharing the link on their timelines.
On our part, we helped build the momentum by retweeting every tweet containing #OccupySiliconIndia. Also, we shared the link with some of the popular influencers on Twitter, in the hope that they spread it amongst their massive followers. On our Facebook page, we requested the community to join the protest on Twitter.
By about 4 pm, #OccupySiliconIndia had created a mark on many timelines. While a few complained of being spammed, most contributed to the cause, thus #OccupySiliconIndia did not lose steam. Everybody joined in to the fight against plagiarism – a cause that is plaguing the content industry. Some of our fans from Facebook joined in, while some of the influencers we had tagged also shared it to their followers.
On a day, when we had two Twitter contests running viz. #Reliance3GTabinMumbai and #MOOZMetal, combined with an action-packed political day that saw the likes of ‘Mamata Banerjee’, ‘Ramdev’, ‘BRD’, etc. trending, we did not expect #OccupySiliconIndia to trend in the least. All we focused on was to spread it as far and wide as possible.
But Twitter is a powerful tool. Its algorithmic engines were tracking the conversations related to #OccupySiliconIndia all the time. #OccupySiliconIndia had everything it takes to trend: meaningful content, volume, velocity, different accounts tweeting it, massive reach, etc. Now all it needed was to reach a spike amongst the competing top trends in India.
This happened as soon as the clock struck 6! We were absolutely thrilled to see #OccupySiliconIndia appear at the 8th position in the Top 10 trends in India! In about 3 hours, we had managed to trend #OccupySiliconIndia although it trended only for 15 minutes or so. As per the report generated by Hashtracking, #OccupySiliconIndia generated more than 4 lakh impressions reaching more than 75K followers.
In the next minute, we received a phone call from SiliconIndia office, asking us what we will accept as a resolution. We emphasized on a public apology but they refused. Instead they offered two options: a) give us credit, b) delete the article from their site. But we stuck to our guns!
We have now filed a DMCA report, following instructions from this article that tells you how to stop people from stealing your content.
While everybody who participated in #OccupySiliconIndia was interested to know the proceedings, SiliconIndia deleted the article on the sly, without an apology!
Meanwhile, SiliconIndia has tweeted to us today, saying that they have the liberty to copy-paste since they are a news site!
The fight is on and we we will keep you updated with the latest plagiarism story to hit home, right after the Fareed Zakaria episode was brought to light. As India celebrates its 65th Independence Day tomorrow, SiliconIndia would be celebrating 15 years of plagiarism and we are hoping to put an end to this.
And here’s a storify version depicting the rise of #OccupySiliconIndia: